KAUZ Newschannel 6 | 7.30.19 The City of Wichita Falls is moving forward with a project that will help them become a bicycle-friendly community in the future.
Dail Neely, a cyclist and member of Bike Wichita Falls, said he is excited to see FM 240, between Burkburnett Road and Missle Road, now designated as a bike lane.
“It’s a well-used cycling area already and so now having that sign so motorists know that we are going to be out there is going to be very helpful,” said Neely.
The Wichita Falls director of transportation, John Burrus tells us this is just the start of a new project, putting Wichita Falls, one step closer to claiming the title of a bicycle-friendly community.
“We’re looking at adding about 20 miles of bicycle lanes a year, so we are looking at a 4 to 5-year window to get some work done, but once we are complete it will be about 100 miles of bicycle lanes, both shared and dedicated lanes,” said Burrus.
The new lane is 3.5 miles or 7 miles in both directions, making it the first major bike lane in the city.
“We only have a small one right now on Hamilton Street but of any significant of length or size of a project, this is our first big project,” said Burrus.
If you pass Gidget’s Sandwich Shack this week you will see a new addition to the sidewalk.
The Downtown Wichita Falls Development unveiled a brand new bike rack Wednesday on what would be Joseph Kemp’s 158 birthday.
In 1906, Kemp chartered the Wichita Falls and Northwest Railway Company of Texas and constructed a rail line into the wheat-producing region of Oklahoma, when it became the Wichita Falls and Northwestern Railway. Kemp organized the Wichita Falls and Southern Railroad, which connected Wichita Falls with the coal fields around Newcastle near Graham in Young County, Texas. He also established the Wichita Falls and Wellington, which linked Wichita Falls and Wellington in Collingsworth County, Texas. Kemp served as president of each of these rail companies. In 1911, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas purchased Kemp’s remaining lines, including the eighteen miles of the Wichita Falls Railway. Kemp hence helped to make Wichita Falls the hub city of northern and western Texas railroads.
The design of the bike shows the importance of the railroad and how it built our city.
Created in 2017, the national Opportunity Zone Program is poised to grow in rural areas of Wichita County. Henry Florsheim, President and CEO of the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce said, “the Opportunity Zones Program (OZP) is something the chamber brings up to every large investor interested in moving a business or development to the Wichita Falls area.” Read more about this program here.
Hosted by Workforce Solutions North Texas at Vernon College, over 100 employers participated in a record-breaking job fair for Wichita Falls and surrounding area residents. This was the largest event of its kind by Workforce Solutions North Texas with over 475 job-seekers in attendance. Read more about this event here.
Wichita Falls, TX, has been ranked number seven for the lowest cost of living across the nation, according to Business Facilities. In fact, four of the top 10 cities are located in Texas. To learn more, view the story here. Learn more about Wichita Falls on our community profile.
New leases are being signed weekly with White Realty in buildings in historic downtown Wichita Falls. “In the last month, they included a wine importing business, a trucking firm and a chocolatier. Downtown Wichita Falls was a booming community up until the 60s when a city dependent on oil and gas bottomed out. However, the area is picking up businesses once again and local entrepreneurs want to be apart of it.” Read more about this story here.
New apartments coming to downtown Wichita Falls, hopefully as soon as August 2019! “If you’re looking for a new lease on life or just a new place to live then you’re in luck. The City Center Apartments are nearing completion.” To learn how you can become one of the new tenants or read the full story, click here.
A new $76.7 million project authorized by the Federal Communications Commission will bring high-speed internet access to rural communities state-wide, including North Texas counties, over the next 10 years. This internet access will benefit and support households and businesses alike. “Texhoma Fiber — a Wichita Falls-based business — will be completing work for Wichita County as well as two south Texas counties – Jim Hogg and Webb counties.” Read the full story here.
City hopes that applying for a Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program (TAP) grant is the next appropriate step to completed the last section of the Circle Trail. “This section of trail would run along the shoreline of Lake Wichita from the boat marina through to Barnett Road.” To read more about the trail and this funding click here.